Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Beauty of knitters

Every knitter needs a knitting group. Whether the group revolves around an LYS, a guild, a virtual meeting space, or a local non fiber location, the knitting group really is essential. Mine is a compilation of people who knit and happen to live close by. I love this group, and more importantly, I love the people who are in the group. We've been fortunate and have a pretty solid core of people. Some of us have been knitting together for almost five years now. This week, this eclectic group of people became remarkable.

One of our knitters lost her daughter last Wednesday, in the wee hours of the morning. Our knitter was able to hold her daughter as she passed from this existence to the next, a true blessing at a time of loss. To celebrate the life her daughter had and to show our love for our knitter, our group knitted flowers. The flowers are as varied and different as the people in our group. Some knitted tulips, some knitted lilies. There were bright colored yarns and muted colors, sock weight and worsted weight. These flowers were as different and as varied as the life of our knitter and her beautiful daughter. Yet, when put together and viewed with the eye of someone who can see beyond the differences, one can see the beauty and it is lovely.

From 2009 Finished Objects

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Football season has arrived

From Family

I wouldn't call Little Clover and I super fans, but we sure do love watching the games, and unlike other Southerners, we restrict ourselves to pro ball only. It is a bit of a shocker, but it works for us. College ball is just a bit too political for my liking. Besides, the politics of little people football is enough for me. Little Clover had a game on Monday, where I was flabbergasted by the horrid behavior of some of the parents. On the drive home, I composed a scathingly nasty blog post chastizing the parents of fifth and sixth graders for their poor sportsmanship and embarassing behavior. I felt much better after the mental post was made. Words may do the most damage to a person, but only if they are let loose on the world.

In knitting news, I finished my rainbow socks a while ago, but never got around to posting the picture.

From 2009 Finished Objects

They are comfy and the Show-Off Stranded pattern was easy to knit. The sock is rather stretchy, yet hugs in all the places a good sock should. This was my first experience with Koigu and oh my, I understand the love people have for this brand. It is squishy. In a lot of ways, it reminded me of Socks That Rock. I wonder if they use the same base yarn.

The pink cotton sweater, Stella, is still coming along. This is a very quick knit and I'm sad I'm coming to the end. With some luck, the weather will stay warm enough for me to get one wear out it before the fall comes. We've had a mild summer in the Delta and the Farmer's Almanac warns of a cold winter ahead. That makes me think of hats and mittens.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

To my son

Today, my baby boy, turns 10.
From Family

He's left the relm of single digits and has joined the double digit masses.
From Family

He is thrilled and in the last 10 years, he has accomplished much.
From Family

He converted two rather hopeless and hapless 20-somethings into somewhat successful adults.
From Family

He has made homes out of mere houses.
From Family

He has managed to fill our days with laughter, joy, and love.
From Family

He's proven himself as a successful student, a leader among his peers, a gifted performer, and a stellar athlete.
From Pictures

He has wiped away the grieving tears of others.
From Family

He's shared his compassion by volunteering in his community.
From Family

He has perfected the hug, the snuggle, and the bedtime lullaby.
From Family

He has helped the two somewhat successful adults become better parents each day by gentling correcting the errors of our inexperienced ways.
From Family

He has trained his dog to crawl under and jump over obstacles.
From Family

He has begun laying out big dreams and large plans for the next 10 years and beyond.
From Family

I see him now as he starts crossing the bridge from childhood into adulthood and am amazed how someone who was once so small is becoming quite an incredible person.

To my child, who is now quite big, I'd like to say "thank you." Thank you for all that you are and for all the joy you bring. May this first of your decade birthdays be the first of many more happy ones to come. I can't wait to see what you do with your next 10 years.

I love you,

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Back up plan

I recently had the following conversation with Little Clover after yet another stressful day at work:

LC: Mom, why did you want to do this job when you grew up?
Me: I didn't.
LC (with complete shock on his face): Then, what did you want to be?
Me: A microbiologist, specializing in viruses.
LC: So why didn't you do that?
Me: Because I didn't want to go to school for another 12 years after college.
LC (after a slight pause): Didn't you have a back-up plan?
Me (amazed by his logic): No.
LC (amazed by his mother's lack of foresight): I've got a back-up plan.
Me (curious of what a nine year old's back up plan is): Really? What is it?
LC (matter of factly): Well, if I don't become a zookeeper, then I'm going to be a baseball player. If that doesn't work out, then I'll play in the NFL, and if that doesn't work, then I'll be a professional hockey player.
Me: Wow, that's a good plan.
LC: Yes, I think so.

There you go. All the stress in my life is because I didn't have a back up plan. So, when I picked out the next pair of socks to knit with the Regia Kaffe Fassett yarn Italian gifted me, I not only picked out a back-up pattern, but I also picked out a back-up yarn, and boy, am I glad I did!

I started off knitting the Regia in the column stitch which uses the knit below technique. After knitting three inches of sock, I realized it was too big. I frogged, reduced the number of stitches I casted on, and tried again. While knitting again, I kept eyeing the sock. The sucker just looked big. I tried it on, and it was huge. Then I actually looked at the sock. The knit one below (K1B) technique results in a very different gauge than stockinette. My normal gauge is 9 stitches to the inch with fingering weight yarn. When I measured this sock, I got 6 stitches to the inch. The K1B stitch makes the stitch much wider than the plain knit counterpart.
From WIPs

I frogged again, put the Regia aside, and pulled out some three year old Koigu. This time, I cast on for the Show off stranded pattern and haven't looked back - sorta. I did have to frog this one too after completing the leg. It was also too big. I reduced the number of stitches, again, and finally found the right fit.
From WIPs